It’s my 50th Recap! What better way to do that than with Lifetime’s Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance? I can’t think of anything. I know I’m a day late from watching this life, but oh well, the Timeless Season Finale wasn’t going to watch itself. (It ROCKED by the way). That show better get renewed.
We open on Botswana, 1997 – a caravan of Jeeps in the carefully manicured savanna, a pensive redhead staring out, remembering Princess Di’s funeral. The music tells us he’s sad. He didn’t want to set an example by walking behind the coffin, he wants to run away and be free to be sad and remember his mum being fun and mischievous. But while he’s wallowing in sorrow, a Lion appears! Charles aims to kill the lion, but Harry, imbued by the spirit of his mother which he clearly thinks is in the lion, hits the gun away from the animal. Strictly speaking, Harry, you could have just said no, don’t shoot. Don’t touch guns, kids.
Now it’s Meghan’s childhood – she’s very gender forward, having Ken be the househusband, and Barbie be the corporate executive. She takes issue with an Ivory soap commercial, that says women should do dishes. Testify girl, but if I didn’t do the dishes, they wouldn’t get done very often in my house. Her dad is nice and encouraging, and then we flash forward to her work on Suits. All grown up actress Meghan is a spot on look-alike, and she stands her ground with her director – no cheeky Pantene hair flip, and no to being in a towel in her next scene. Good for you.
Harry has had some tabloid issues, and is having a heart-to-heart with a very badly cast Prince William, who tells him that he’s looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love. Seriously, this Prince William looks terrible. Harry is called on the carpet about his club behavior, and Kate is looking really smug, says nice things to Harry, but acts like a brat with Wills. Not sure what’s going on there, Lifetime writers.
Meghan says she doesn’t need a man to define her, in a roomful of bitter makeup artists, but she’s newly single and is reminded that she’s not getting any younger. Her fashion designer(? it’s unclear) friend tells her that she’d be good for a friend of hers, who, unlike his older brother, still has his hair. Rich, blah blah. Our girl Meghan doesn’t care about any of that, but only asks, “Is He Nice.” Yes, that’s what she asks. Slow clap for the writers. Harry, on the other hand, asks “Is She Hot?” Ew.
Blind Date time, and she’s waiting. And Waiting. Harry is not anticipating good times on this date, and this actor, have to say, just sucks right now. Not a fan. But when he finally gets there, he’s struck by her beauty, and she’s all like, nope, shut up until you say sorry for being 45 minutes late. Not sure if that’s true or not, but good for her. Harry has the standard “come get me in 5 minutes” to his chauffeur, who tells him the big emergency that Prince Harry of England must solve is that London Bridge is Falling Down. Yup. I have a feeling that I’ll be slow-clapping the writers every 5 minutes during this thing.
They are playing the question game, which states that Harry’s guilty pleasure favorite song is “Sail Away.” They also bond over charity work in Rwanda. He likes it that she’s not afraid of him. ? He confesses that he misses the army, and he quotes “Invictus” and she cries, and they almost kiss but are stopped by the glare of the morning – they talked all night, y’all! He’s so in love by this point, you can tell by the happy piano. Best.Blind.Date.Ever.
Her mom is so excited she met the Prince of England, but asks if she gave the milk away for free. Mom is Fiesty. They are both researching each other – he’s binge watching Suits, and she’s reading The Crown, and by August, they are off to Botswana in a helicopter. Elephants!
Wills and Kate are having breakfast with Charlotte and George (spot on casting on the kids, btw). However, Kate is being a judgmental bitch about Americans. “They’re so loud,” she says with her massive teeth. Seriously, writers, I have not seen anything to make me think that Kate would be such a pain in the ass, but do we need a villain in this film, is that why you are putting these very bitchy words in her mouth?
Fun in Botswana means feeding a giraffe a carrot with your teeth. He tells her the lion story – he thought the lion was Diana. She’s accepting of that little kids’ need for feeling validation. And cue hand-holding in the sunset of Botswana. Wherever they filmed this stuff, it’s gorgeous.
They have a champagne picnic in front of green-screen stars – she tells how hard it is to be biracial. He says being a ginger is also hard. Somehow I don’t feel those two correlate. She likes redheads and they kiss against the green-screen, and oooooh, fade to black disrobing on the second date. It’s a full moon over Botswana. Harry then gets to share some kind of animal fact like he’s on Wild Kingdom, in the hopes of getting frisky again. It works on Meghan.
Oh holy god, the trailers for the Sunday Night Summer Escapes on Lifetime look crazy cuckoo bananas. I.am.so.there.
Back in London, Harry is so stupid in love. He tries to tell his judgmental sister-in-law and Elmer Fudd-looking older brother, who loves to have a bit of a giggle. Kate has to point out that Meghan is American, divorced, half black, etc. Is Harry ready for this?
Meghan’s wonderful sassy hairdresser says she doesn’t want to go down the road of The Crown, and Meghan is like, yeah, glass ceilings, not glass slippers, so she has to FaceTime to say thanks but that’s all to Harry, as they have a long distance thing going, but OF COURSE he’s outside her trailer with flowers in Canada. The music and the close-ups of them smiling say that they’re happy.
They go to a Halloween Party – she’s Hilary Clinton, and he’s a frog. It’s weird. But they also got into a fight with some drunken Canadians who are SUPER rude to Harry, and someone takes a photo, and it’s all over the tabloids. Paparazzi is staking out the set of Suits, and the Palace is unhappy. They don’t like her lifestyle blog, but Harry’s like, no, that blog is part of her identity. Um. Ok. Kate says that if she’s Harry’s girl, she can’t have opinions. This writing is so bad, it’s making some of the worst Hallmark movies look like Dickens. The upshot is that Meghan has to meet Kate and Wills and the kids. Kate is nice, and it looks like the bitch mode has been transported to someone named Bella. She’s passive aggressive, very insulting in the name of getting Meghan ready for what everyone else will say, and then asks her how Meghan got her hair so straight. She’s not wearing a cardigan over her shoulders, but give her time. This girl is evil.
They’re out on the terrace, and she’s confessing how hard it is to be black – she says the N-word recounting a harrowing event. She’s warning Harry that no one will be nice to them because of her heritage. Music says it’s a poignant moment. He kisses her on the forehead, so you know he’s all about taking care of her. But the paparazzi are already staked out at Meghan’s mom’s house, asking about her dreds. Ugh, people. You all suck. Paparazzi are also trying to break into Meghan’s house. Harry has to make a statement, which is being read in condescending tones by Charles. It’s a good statement, but Charles is a dick. Harry threatens to tweet it out himself, so out it goes on official Palace letterhead.
Meghan has a phone conversation with her dad, and she tells him to tell her step-siblings not to take money from the tabloids. Yeah, good luck with that. Meghan then sees ABC News about Harry’s statement and she’s not having it because she doesn’t want a man to define her. Seriously, though, Meghan, do you not see that the paparazzi are the biggest bad in Harry’s life, and that his statement was really drudging up Diana again? This whole thing makes her break up with him. I get being your own woman, Meghan, and how you don’t need someone to take care of you, but duh. I’m guessing this didn’t happen, and it’s the writers in need of drama for Act 3 of this movie.
This actress cries great.
Her mom is about to lay down the smack on her daughter by pulling up the Diana funeral footage again. And she gets all the psychological stuff I just spouted, and Meghan feels like crap. Mom says she’s going to run over the paparazzi in order to get Meghan to Harry and we all love Meghan’s mom right now. Harry is wearing a very bad purple beanie as he boards his private plane. Meghan gets to the airport, and the secret code of “London Bridge is Falling Down” gets him to get off his plane. The only way this scene could get more romantic is if it rained. Circle shot of them kissing. Whohooo.
Next scene is Pippa’s wedding, where Meghan isn’t invited because “no ring, no bring.” Harry has a very engrossing scene with some drunk racist relatives, including one of them who wears an actual broach of an African servant on her dress. As I know this is a true thing, slow clap for writers for bringing it in and showcasing racism through jewelry. Finally Charles steps in to kick them out, tell Harry to get the girl. Aww, dad. So she shows up in a backless red dress. And Bella shows her true bitchy colors, and even Kate sees it – and confides she’s preggo with Prince Louis. She also mentions her ladies in waiting. Does Kate have ladies in waiting? Then we have to dance to Patsy Cline, which I refuse to believe Pippa Middleton had played at her wedding. Oh, and the set design of this wedding looks super cheap.
Meghan is freaking out about her biological clock, and how she doesn’t want to be just a mom. I know she doesn’t mean to be insulting to us moms out there, it’s just the writing. Harry runs out of the house before they can finish their conversation. And apparently it’s closing in on the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, so of course both Wills and Harry are upset. So off Harry and Meghan go to Botswana to build houses and play soccer with cute kids.
The tent they have in Botswana barely has walls. It’s just open, and they have no mosquito netting. Meghan pushes Harry to open up about Diana, and it blows up in her face and he runs away from the house and bam! there’s another lion. Diana the lion is back to tell Harry to stop being such a whinging bitch. He cries. And then they have sex. Ok. Whatever makes you better. You can tell this is a Lifetime movie because of the piano music and the slow-mo shots that dissolve into an artistic lightbulb shot. Apparently it’s ok to sleep naked in Botswana. And he proposes to her in bed, because his life needs to just have Meghan in it. Awww.
Harry says he’ll move to Canada for Meghan, but she feels really unsatisfied by her job because she plays a fake lawyer on a TV show that’s on basic cable. So back to London they go, and Meghan is ready to be a British Citizen, and she’s got to meet his granny. Oh snap! Gran asks if Meghan is in The Crown, and is happy she can said no. And the writers give Meghan a nice speech which wins over the Queen.
Back at home, she’s making a chicken, and he gives her the nice ring he’s had made for her. As a jeweler’s wife, I approve.
They just had the Queen say she wants to give her great-grandchildren some jolly big hugs. And that is the worst thing in this movie by a million, million, million.
Recap of the movie with a synthesized soundtrack, just in case we don’t remember what we just spent 2 hours watching. Why is that? And it’s spliced into real footage of the happy couple on their first meet-and-greet on the streets of England. They do look happy. And the end.
So. A “True Life Fairy Tale” much like all those Hallmark movies I do so love to write about. Obviously this is a hastily written movie that has some fact but a lot of imagination. But from everything we see of the soon-to-be-married couple, they look like nice people who love each other and like to do good things in the world. So best of luck to them.
Movie wise – casting was pretty spot on, as I said, about Meghan. Harry was not as good. Wills looked awful, Kate had a personality change halfway through the movie, and what did they do to the Queen? Anyway. I’m glad I was reminded to watch this movie, and happy that I could recap it for you here. If I wake up early enough on Saturday, I’ll watch the real thing, you know, just so you don’t have to.